School of the Arts (College of Liberal Arts & Science)

Graduation requirements and regulations for every academic program are provided in this catalog. Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. In most cases, you will use the catalog of the year you entered KU (see your advisor for details). Other years’ catalogs»


The School of the Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is composed of 3 departments:

The school acquaints students with the arts as an important field of a liberal culture, either as members of a discriminating public or as trained practitioners. It prepares students for careers in dance, film and media, theatre, and visual art and promotes scholarship and research in the arts. It offers curricula for teachers of art in public schools and institutions of higher education.

The school makes a substantial contribution to the cultural life of the campus, community, and state by providing a center for the best of theatre and dance performance and the exhibition of works of art and film.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Degree Programs

  • The degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) is granted with majors in dance, film and media studies, theatre, and visual art.
  • The degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is granted with majors in dance, history of art, theatre design, and visual art.
  • The degree of Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) is granted with majors in film and media studies and theatre.
  • The Bachelor of Art Education (B.A.E.) offers a major in art education.

Requirements for Graduation

All undergraduate degrees from the University of Kansas require completion of the KU Core Curriculum.  In addition to the KU Core, students must satisfy the degree specific and major requirements of the degree they are pursuing. 

Degrees from the School of the Arts are conferred on candidates who have satisfactorily completed a  minimum of 120 credit hours for the B.A., B.G.S., and B.F.A. degrees, including required subjects. The B.A.E. degree requires additional hours in student teaching, internship, and graduate credit for Kansas licensure and therefore requires a minimum of 139 hours.

45 credit hours must be in junior/senior-level courses, numbered 300 and above. 2.0 grade-point averages in KU courses and in junior/senior hours in the major are required for graduation. 4 hours of the total in each case except B.A.E. degrees may be in physical education activity courses. Art appreciation courses are not accepted toward art history requirements for students majoring in any field of art or design. HA 100 and HA 300 are not accepted toward any requirement for students majoring in any field of art or design.


Remedial Courses

Remedial courses listed in the catalog and Schedule of Classes are numbered below 100. Such courses include, but are not limited to MATH 2. Such courses do not count toward graduation in the School of the Arts and may not be counted as distribution courses.


Art and Design Building

View a slide show in the School of the Arts brochure.

The 130,000-square-foot Art and Design Building houses all major art and design programs, including studios and offices. The building houses the 2,100-square-foot Art and Design Gallery; this space features new exhibitions every 2 weeks and serves as an important component of the teaching mission. Each major program offers all students spacious work areas and a range of equipment, from traditional to the newest digital technology. Students have access to multiplatform computer labs with the most commonly used current software for photography, animation, CAD, 3-D, video production, desktop publishing, scanning, illustration, large- and medium-format plotters, and color and black-and-white laser printers. Unique satellite computer areas are dedicated to textiles, metalsmithing and jewelry, expanded media, and printmaking. Students have access to a traditional Photography Laboratory, including a dark room for black-and-white photography, a digital processing lab, dedicated spaces for project photography, and an equipment checkout facility. The 6,400-square-foot Common Shop includes a range of woodworking equipment, a plastic vacuum former, metalworking equipment, and classroom space. All labs and the shop have technical support staff.

There are 3 large, well-equipped painting studios. The print studios consist of 8,000 square feet of workspaces and a dedicated computer lab for serigraphy, lithography, and intaglio. The intaglio studio has 5 presses and a separate acid room. The lithography studio has 3 presses and various sizes of stones. The serigraphy studio has 12 printing stations, a separate wash-out room, and a large exposure unit, available for a variety of photo-based processes. The sculpture studio is divided into 5 general work areas with appropriate equipment: woodworking, metal fabrication, foundry, an open courtyard, and individual studios. The foundry contains equipment necessary for casting with a variety of kilns, 3 gas-fired furnaces, and an overhead crane. There is an induction furnace with a lift-swing unit for bronze and a tilt box unit for iron and steel.

The 3,800-square-foot metalsmithing and jewelry studio has 8 rooms with separate areas for soldering, metalsmithing, plating/electro-forming, a finishing room, casting, gas and TIG welding, enameling, and a student-operated supply store. Matrix GemVision computer software is available for students to develop 3-dimensional jewelry models. The ceramics area includes 5,300 square feet of studio space in the Art and Design building as well as separate west campus Chamney barn facilities. Kilns include salt, soda, cross-draft wood, anagama wood-fired, raku, an electric test kiln, and several kinds of gas and electric kilns. The textile design area has separate weaving, screen-printing, sewing, and dye areas. The weaving studios are equipped with 4-, 8-, and 16-harness floor looms and two 16-harness AVL compu-dobby looms. The sewing area includes traditional machines, sergers, and a computer- aided embroidery machine. The textile Mac computer lab offers numerous software applications specific to weaving and surface design including jacquard weaving CAD software.

Murphy Hall

Murphy Hall houses all major theatre programs and facilities for University Theatre productions. Crafton-Preyer Theatre is a large proscenium theatre seating 1,181. It is equipped with a full-stage turntable, a hydraulic orchestra pit elevator, cutting-edge lighting and sound control equipment, and a recently renovated counterweight line system. William Inge Memorial Theatre is a 50-foot by 50-foot black box theatre with flexible seating for approximately 120. It is also equipped with excellent lighting and sound control equipment. Well-equipped shops for scenery, costume, and props construction, as well as a lighting maintenance laboratory serve the production areas. Crafton-Preyer is also used as Stage Too! The audience is built onto the large stage of the theatre for a more intimate setting. 4 main studios are used as rehearsal halls and classrooms. The Thomas Gorton Music and Dance Library is in Murphy Hall.

Summerfield Hall

The Film and Media Studies facilities are located in Summerfield Hall and right in the center of campus with easy access to parking and the KU bus system.  Our facilities reside on the 1st, 2nd and 4th floors and provide over 14,000 sq/ft of production and studio space.  Students have access to a state of the art sound recording studio, soundstage, animation studio, computer lab, and production classroom.

Robinson Center

The dance department is housed in Robinson Center, which contains 3 large, well equipped dance studios. One of the studios converts into the Elizabeth Sherbon Theatre, an informal, black box theatre. Dance students have performance opportunities with the University Dance Company, New Dance, and in School of Music and Department of Theatre productions. The Thomas Gorton Music and Dance Library is in Murphy Hall.

Spencer Museum of Art

The Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art is regarded as one of the most innovative university museums and has long been considered one of the top teaching museums in the country. 5 galleries display selections from the permanent collection of more than 36,000 works of art. Areas of special strength include medieval art; European and American paintings, sculpture, and prints; photography; Japanese Edo-period paintings and prints; 20th-century Chinese paintings; and an ethnographic collection that includes 10,000 Native American, African, Latin American, and Australian works. Spencer Museum sponsors exhibitions, lectures, films, workshops, and activities that support curricular instruction in the arts. The also museum houses the Kress Foundation Department of Art History and the Murphy Art and Architecture Library, with more than 170,000 volumes and 600 current journals documenting the visual arts, design, and architecture from all cultures, from antiquity to the present.

Lied Center

The Lied Center of Kansas is a multipurpose performing arts facility with a 2,000-seat performing arts hall. It offers outstanding presentations of music, dance, and theatre, as well as lectures by artists and scholars. The Lied Center is a major regional presenter and provider of performing arts. The Department of Visual Art, Spencer Museum of Art, Hall Center for the Humanities, and the Lied Center present active visiting artist programs.